« Archives in December, 2012


To Sande…On Our 25 Christmases Together.

Twenty-five years ago, in the week between Christmas and New Year, I had dinner alone at Gampy’s neighborhood bar in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon district. It was a bitterly cold Sunday night. To my left, the restaurant had a few patrons, but not many. To my right, outside the big picture window, heavily bundled pedestrians moved briskly against a wintry wind bearing down on Charles Street’s snow-piled sidewalks.

It looked to be a lonely night, and I accepted it as such, even as I found myself flashing back to my bar seat (different bar) at our ad agency’s Christmas Party the week before. I couldn’t stop thinking about her…the Creative Director who had once dubbed me the Idi Amin of advertising and who had spent the bulk of the Office Christmas Party making regular pit stops at the bar to replenish her champagne glass and deliver zingers aimed squarely at the account man she hated—me. Somewhere along the way that evening, we actually started speaking to each other and ended up going home together. Hey, these things happen.

A week later, I’m sitting at Gampy’s, debating whether or not to call. No, I thought. Bad idea. Get a grip on yourself. One more drink. Then, home.

Fate intervened during that drink, and I suddenly found myself asking the bartender for a bottle of champagne to go. I drove up Charles Street, parked outside your house, dialed your number on my car phone, and almost hung up when you answered. I managed to blurt out something to the effect that I was wondering if I could stop by.  “OK,” you said, without hesitation, “but I’ll need an hour.”

For the next hour, I sat cradling the champagne, watching the clock, and wondering what I had done. Four months later, we got married.

I don’t know about destiny, but somehow we both knew that we had found our soul mate. Everyone should be so lucky. »Read More

“LITTLE MAN ON THE COUCH”…On Nephews & Little Brothers

Little’s therapist delves into relationships.

TP: Good to see you, Little. How was Thanksgiving?

LM: Hmm—kind of a good news/bad news deal, doc. Good news: I was able to hustle some pretty fine turkey scraps from mom. You gotta love those leftovers. Bad news: The “kid with the plaid pajamas” was there.

TP: Kid with the plaid pajamas?

LM: Yeh, the oldest grandson. When he was younger and his family lived far away, they’d stay overnight. (Not any more, thank God.) He always wore these crazy-looking plaid pj’s, so we dubbed him accordingly.

TP: What? The plaid pj’s bothered you?

LM: Nah. The kid bothered me.  He just LOVED getting me riled up, thinking I’d chase him around the house. You know me, doc…the only things I’m chasing have four short legs and make a nice snack.

TP: But the kid’s grown up now, right?

LM: I’ll say. Kid’s growin’ like a weed. He’s almost as tall as dad…but he’s still a dweeb. I’m telling you, doc, the kid’s not in the house five minutes before you hear, “where’s Uncle Little?”

TP: Uncle Little?

LM: Yeh, you believe that? Where’d this kid learn anatomy? Anyway, he likes to play with fire, I guess. He comes over, all uncle little coochie-cooing, then tries petting my belly (NOT HAPPENING!) and seeing how narrowly he can avoid getting his arm ripped off. I don’t know…maybe the kid wants to be a snake charmer when he grows up, so he’s trying to perfect the art of the narrow escape. Good thing dad loves him so much or I’d consider introducing him to the art of “Oops! Better get some band-aids.”

TP: Does it bother you that your dad loves the kid so much?

LM: No, of course not! Dad’s crazy about all the grandkids. I understand that. Heck, a bunch of them were here before me. I don’t mind sharing him with them.

TP: Unlike Curly?

LM: Boy, you’re just dying to get into that Curly thing, aren’t you, doc?

TP: Well, from what I heard…

LM: Exactly what did you hear, doc? »Read More